Pierre Gagnaire’s Grapefruit Soufflé recipe & Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque

Pierre Gagnaire Grapefruit soufflé

Pierre Gagnaire’s Grapefruit Soufflé recipe & Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 


“A soufflé is first of all a scent; a treat for the eyes,” says Chef Pierre Gagnaire. In other words, it is a spectacle. And there are few soufflés as showstopping as this one. Baked and served inside the skin of the grapefruit, this sublime dessert is ladled with bitter citrus notes that counterbalance the lush, creamy texture of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2012. 


Talking about the soufflé, Pierre Gagnaire explains, “It is incredibly evanescent, slightly spicy, and works very well with the characteristics of the champagne.” 


As well as the grapefruit soufflé, we also have a lemon cake cloaked in a poppy-infused cream—a classic flavor combination that brings a sweetness and denseness to the almost ethereally light soufflé.


For those who are nervous about tackling this often-intimidating dessert, Pierre Gagnaire advises that to achieve a light-as-a-feather texture, you must use a spatula to fold the pastry cream into the whipped egg whites, taking care to aerate the mixture. Master this technique, and your soufflé will rise gracefully every time. 


Pierre Gagnaire Grapefruit Soufflé

Practical Information

  • Preparation time: 40 to 50 minutes



Crème pâtissière:
  • the strained juice of 8 grapefruits that should be reduced by half 
  • 100 g milk 
  • 10 egg yolks 
  • 260 g sugar 
  • 4 g salt 
  • 50 g all-purpose flour
  • flour (to sprinkle over the inside of the grapefruit)


Grapefruit jam:
  • 200g of grapefruit (1 piece)
  • 30g maple syrup


Lemon cake:
  • 35 g egg yolks 
  • 50 g sugar 
  • 25 g cream 
  • 35 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 g baking powder 
  • the zest of 1 grated lemon 
  • 20 g butter 


Poppy cream:
  • 100 g cream 
  • 10 g poppy syrup


Grapefruit shell:
  • 60g butter
  • 100g all-purpose flour


  • 360g crème pâtissière
  • 60g of grapefruit jam
  • 10 egg whites 
  • 40 g sugar

Recipe steps


Step 1: Crème pâtissière
  • Hollow out the grapefruits, leaving the inside white. Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with flour. 
  • Blanch the egg yolks in a bain-marie with the sugar, then add the flour and salt.
  • Bring the grapefruit juice to the boil with the milk and pour over the egg yolks while stirring. Return to the boil while stirring until the liquid thickens.
  • Transfer it to a container and leave it to cool, stirring often.


Step 2: Grapefruit jam
  • Extract the grapefruit segments and cook them in maple syrup.
  • Remove and leave it to cool once there is no more juice in the cooking pot.


Step 3: Lemon cake
  • Blanch the egg yolks and sugar, add the cream and then the flour, which has already been mixed with the baking powder.
  • Grate the lemon peels in the cold melted butter and add them to the first mixture.
  • Bake on a tray with edges for 18 to 25 minutes at 320°F.


Step 4: Poppy cream

Beat the cream with a mixer and then add the poppy syrup.



Step 5: Grapefruit shell

Once all the grapefruit flesh is removed from the shell, scrape off the inside with a spoon, and slightly butter and flour. 



Step 6: Soufflé
  • Take approximately 350 g of the crème pâtissière.
  • Return it to warm slightly in the bain-marie, then add the grapefruit jam.
  • With a mixer, beat the egg whites until they become stiff, then add the sugar. 
  • Gently combine the two mixtures, and fill the grapefruits, taking care to wipe the inside edges of the shell.
  • Bake on a baking tray in a conventional oven at 390°F for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Serve immediately after removing them from the oven.


Step 7: Plating-up

Serve a lemon cake slice with a bit of poppy cream, covered with slivered almonds

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